Work, and life, seem to flow easier when we're willing to follow hunches and experiment with how we're interacting with our interests. Such is the case for Ivy Weinglass of IIIVVVYYY, a ceramicist who started exploring her medium and began to find her footing in it as a career. With only a few years under her belt, Ivy finds inspiration in nature and makes her pieces with the hope that it expresses her sentiment towards her creative path: gratitude and love. Meet Ivy!
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do:
my name is Ivy Weinglass and I make pottery! I just started doing ceramics a few years ago, so every day i'm still learning and experimenting, it's pretty much the best job ever and I try and be as thankful and grateful as possible that I get to do it and that people like it!
We hear you're a podcast lover, what 3 podcasts do you think everyone should be listening to?
Oh god, this is about to get really embarrassing. My podcast list runs the gamut. Not embarrassing classics like New Yorker Radio Hour, Studio 360 and NPR Politics podcast go up against This Is Actually Happening, Where should We Begin? and Love and Radio. Also anything true crime - I love to freak myself out when i'm alone in the studio - Criminal, The Last Podcast on the Left, Jim Harolds Campfire, Sword and Scale. Where it gets really embarrassing is my absolute need to listen to tv show recap podcasts. Most notably anything Bachelor / Bachlorette related (Here To Make Friends, The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast are my two go to's) and Game of Thrones ones (literally any of them). Nothing makes me happier than a TV Recap and having it to look forward to when I go into the studio makes it that much better. I also love anything thats a multi-part series on one subject like Serial or S-Town. I just finished listening to the 30 for 30 Podcast on Bikram Yoga which was really intense. Thats way more than 3 but what can I say, i'm a woman of extremes!
Do you always start with an idea in mind for a ceramic piece, or do you ever start without intention and see what will form?
it's a mix for sure. Some pieces like the Open Palms I knew I wanted to make - I had always thrifted hand shaped pieces for as long as I can remember and knew I wanted to make my own version. Other pieces come from a mixture of hazy inspiration and experimentation. I prefer to just get into the studio and play and make mistakes and take ideas and pieces from those mistakes and turn them into something else. I'm very inspired by nature but live in Brooklyn, so when i'm in it I try and just soak it all up and hope that it comes out in strange and exciting ways in my work. Also necessity is the mother of invention - i've been trying to figure out how to use up my clay scraps from all of the Canyon Collection. I was looking at those fun 70s hand drawn posters of crystals and rocks and realized a lot of them looked like little scraps of my work. So i started playing, using up the scraps and creating a terrazzo look, and thats how the Canyon Piece collection came from that!How do you balance work and life? What have you found helpful?
Oh gosh, thats honestly something i'm a real work in process on. I never considered myself a real worker until I started doing ceramics. I always was VERY good at leaving work and not thinking about it until I had to do it again. But with ceramics, it's a part of me. I'm literally making little pieces of myself to put out into the world, and when your work is your life, the lines get REALLY blurred. I could do work from morning to night and still feel like there's more to do (theres always going to be more to do no matter what!) So I really try and do a Monday - Friday schedule (that gets blurry too but I try) and I just try and find little moments when in the studio or responding to emails that make me feel like I just treated myself. A really good cup of coffee in the morning when going over emails, treating myself to a yummy sandwich for lunch and sitting outside and eating it. I know that sounds like "oh you mean doing normal things like having lunch and drinking coffee" which YES thats technically true, but I try and frame it in my mind as a little special moment when I don't have to think about work, I can just be present and thankful that this coffee tastes like heaven and that theres a great sandwich shop a block away from my studio.
What do you hope your work reveals or expresses about you?
I hope that it shows I don't take myself too seriously, that theres a place in the world for imperfection and beauty and use, and that I really really love what I do.
Are you the life of the party or a wallflower or somewhere inbetween?
Lets just go with "100% Loner who can reluctantly bring the party, as long as the party doesn't start too late"
What advice has stuck throughout your creative process and evolution?
just be kind and understanding not only to others but also yourself. And never assume you know everything!
Describe yourself in three words.
does "needs / loves coffee" work??? hm. thats a hard one! Dedicated, cozy and impatient? Loving, needy and sensitive? can I use them all??
What are your favorite spots for:
Pizza? i've got to stay away from too much dairy but nothing beats a NY slice, plain cheese, not too hot, folded. But i've been making forays into making my own pizza! I just make a simple dough and add things like squash blossoms, goat cheese feta, roasted tomatoes and a shit ton of olive oil and its SO GOOD. makes me feel fancy even though it could not be more simple and easy.
Coffee? i like any second wave, classic coffee shop - I can't handle the organic, artisinal, new wave coffee where you have to let it drip for a million years and heat it and measure it and weigh it. Woof. Give me Peets (if im in california!) or a random coffee shop any day. I love diner coffee too but mainly because I just love diner mugs.
Dessert? I've got a huge sweet tooth and always need a little nibble of a sweet after dinner. I love a salted dark chocolate, or a coconut popsicle or just give me an entire key lime pie or any sort of whipped cream based cake and i'm good.
Drinks? I love an aperol spritzer! i'm not a huge drinker so tiki drinks are always fun just because its a one and done type situation for me so i feel like im taking full advantage, or a glass of white wine always does me right
Reading? every damn day. Want to know a fact about me? I've always been a super fast reader. So I go through books like a bag of chips. These days I've been choosing the longest books I can find because I love to lose myself in a book - I truly feel a loss when its over. Recently I just finished Pachinko, which broke my heart a million times. I loved it so much. Fates and Furies was like that too. I love emotional deep dives where I become so immeshed in the characters lives that I feel like I'm part of that world. I usually have one extra large book I read at home thats too heavy to carry around (currently its The Count of Monte Cristo) and then one I carry in my bag so that I always have one for moments on the subway or sitting in a coffee shop, right now thats Killers of the Flower Moon which is fascinating and heartbreaking.